3D Virtual Spaces Supporting Engineering Learning Activities

  • Dorin-Mircea Popovici OVIDIUS University of Constanta Address: 124 B-dul Mamaia, 900527, Constanta, Romania
  • Jean-Pierre Gerval ISEN 20, rue Cuirassé Bretagne CS 42807 - 29228 Brest Cedex 2 - France E-mail:
  • Felix G. Hamza-Lup Armstrong Atlantic State University Faculty of Computer Science Address: 11935 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA
  • Ronan Querrec Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Brest Laboratoire d’Informatique des Systèmes Complexes Address: 25 rue Claude Chappe, F-29280 Plouzané, France
  • Mihai Polceanu OVIDIUS University of Constanta Address: 124 B-dul Mamaia, 900527, Constanta, Romania
  • Norina Popovici OVIDIUS University of Constanta Address: 124 B-dul Mamaia, 900527, Constanta, Romania
  • Remus Zăgan OVIDIUS University of Constanta Address: 124 B-dul Mamaia, 900527, Constanta, Romania


Virtual environments constitute the support platform for various teaching and learning activities. Instead of a local application for this purpose, this paper explores the effects of using distributed virtual reality environments in the educational process. The architecture of the presented system is based on the recently developed web-based technology called AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And XML), implemented on a Linux operating system configured to run Apache with PHP and MySQL support; i.e., LAMP architecture, which contributes to the portability and ease of installation of the application. The platform is designed to support the integration of lesson modules such as the EngView environment which is discussed in more detail in this contribution. Pedagogical, technical, and implementation-related aspects are presented in conjunction with the virtual environment used in the engineering training curriculum. Statistical information resulted from the training shows a significant increase in task completion time when the virtual setup is used.


[1] P. Milgram, H. Takemura, A. Utsumi, F. Kishino, Augmented Reality: A class of displays on the reality-virtuality continuum, SPIE Vol. 2351, Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technology, pp. 282-292, 1994.

[2] G. Burdea, Ph. Coiffet, Virtual Reality Technology Second Edition with CD-ROM, Wiley, New Jersey, 2003, ISBN 0471360899.

[3] D.Zelter, Autonomy, interaction and presence, Presence, Vol. 1(1), pp. 127-132, 1990.

[4] A. Wilson, The promise of Situated Cognition, In An Update On Adult Learning Theory, Ed. By S.B.Merriam, pp. 71-79, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1993.

[5] J. Lave, E. Wenger, Situated learning. Legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge, University of Cambridge Press, 1991.

[6] G. Taxen, A. Naeve, CyberMath: A Shared Virtual Environment for Mathematics Exploration, Center for User Oriented IT Design, Royal Institute of Technology, Technical Report CID-129, Stockholm, Sweden, 2001.

[7] B. Loftin, M. Engelberg, R. Benedetti, Applying Virtual Reality in Education: A prototypical Virtual Physics Laboratory, In Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Research Frontiers in Virtual Reality, San Jose, CA, pp. 67-74, 1993.

[8] J.P. Gerval, Y. Le Ru, VELab: A Virtual Lab for Electronics Virtual Experiments, Advanced Technology for Learning, Volume 3 - Issue 2, ACTA Press, 2006.

[9] N. Doukas, A. Andreatos, Advancing Electronic Assessment, International Journal of Computers, Communications & Control, Vol.II, No.1, pp. 56-65, 2007.

[10] W. L. Johnson, J. Rickel, Steve: An Animated Pedagogical Agent for Procedural Training in Virtual Environments, Sigart Bulletin, ACM Press, vol. 8, number 1-4, pp. 16-12, 1997.

[11] J.-M. Burkhardt, D. Lourdeaux, D. Mellet-d'Huart: La conception des environnements virtuels d'apprentissage (the design of training virtual environments). In: P. Fuchs & G. Moreau (eds.): Le traité de la réalité virtuelle. Paris, Presses de l'Ecole des Mines, 2003.

[12] F.G. Hamza-Lup, I. Sopin, Haptics and Extensible 3D in Web-Based Environments for e-Learning and Simulation, 4th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies (WEBIST), May 4-7, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, 2008.

[13] C. Roloson, J. Zirnhelt, PERFORMANCE BASED QUALIFICATION: AN NDT SERVICE INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE, paper No. 744, CD-ROM Proceedings of the 16th WCNDT 2004 - World Conference on NDT, Aug 30 - Sep 3, Montreal, Canada, http://www.ndt.net/abstract/wcndt2004/744.htm, 2004.

[14] J. Bruner, Actual Minds, Possible Worlds, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1986.

[15] CERVA, http://www.univ-ovidius.ro/cerva/engview, 2007.

[16] P.N. Shkatov, D.V. Bydanov, S.V. Kluev, Simulator for Education of Eddy Current Testing Specialists, Proc. of The 17th World Conference on Nondestructive Testing, 25-28 Oct 2008, Shanghai, China.

[17] D.H. Harris, J. Spanner, Virtual NDE operator training and qualification, NDT.net - October 1999, Vol. 4 No. 10.

[18] S. Lonné, L. de Roumilly, L. Le Ber, S. Mahaut, G. Cattiaux , Experimental Validation of CIVA Ultrasonic Simulations, International Conference on NDE in relation to structural Integrity for Nuclear and Pressurised Components, 2006.

[19] Moodle, http://moodle.org, Feb., 2009.

[20] SCORM, Sharable Content Object Reference Model, http://www.adlnet.gov/scorm/, Feb., 2009.

[21] VRML, Virtual Reality Modeling Language, http://www.web3d.org/x3d/specifications/vrml/, Feb., 2009.

[22] P. Reignier, F. Harrouet, S. Morvan, J. Tisseau, T. Duval, ARéVi: A Virtual Reality Multiagent Platform, Lectures Notes in Computer Science, Volume 1434, ISSN: 0302-9743, http://www.cerv.fr/fr/activites/AReVi.php, 1998.

[23] D.M. Popovici, Modeling the space in virtual universes, PhD Thesis, Politehnica University of Bucharest, 2004.

[24] Apache, http://www.apache.org, Feb., 2009.

[25] MySQL, http://www.mysql.com, Feb., 2009.

[26] PHP, http://www.php.net, Feb., 2009.

[27] AJAX, http://www.ajax.org, Feb., 2009.

[28] AJAX3D, http://www.ajax3d.org/, Feb., 2009.

[29] X3D, http://www.web3d.org, Feb., 2009.

[30] FluxPlayer, http://sourceforge.net/projects/flux, Feb., 2009.

[31] Firefox, http://www.firefox.com, Feb., 2009.

[32] D.M. Popovici, J.P. Gerval, F.G. Hamza-Lup,N. Popovici,M. Polceanu,R. Zagan: Learning Distributed Activities Inside 3D Virtual Spaces, Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Virtual Learning, pp. 289-296, Constanta, 2008.
How to Cite
POPOVICI, Dorin-Mircea et al. 3D Virtual Spaces Supporting Engineering Learning Activities. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTERS COMMUNICATIONS & CONTROL, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 4, p. 401-414, dec. 2009. ISSN 1841-9844. Available at: <http://univagora.ro/jour/index.php/ijccc/article/view/2456>. Date accessed: 13 july 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.15837/ijccc.2009.4.2456.


Virtual environment, Learning, Teaching, Motivation, Virtual training